Treasury and EC may clash over diesel taxes

Savings of up to £6bn a year for UK road hauliers would result from EC proposals to cut UK duties by over 50% in a bid to iron out Europe-wide tax distortions. Hauliers from low-taxation states currently have an advantage over UK truckers, who face high duties.

Harmonisation would eliminate duty differences but would cost the UK an estimated £6bn – a move likely to be fiercely contested by the Treasury.

Protests over fuel prices caused UK transport chaos in autumn 2000.

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